These are STEM or Space related opportunities that are currently available to residents of Colorado. Please see linked web pages for additional information. Not everyone will qualify for these opportunities. We are not affiliated with any of the organizations offering these opportunities and inclusion here is not an endorsement of any company or organization.


Opportunity: Ultima Art Campaign
Deadline: December 27, 2018 (11:59 p.m. CST)

Description: The Ultima Art Campaign is open to students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Send us your best space artist rendition of what you think New Horizons will encounter. Who knows if your artistry might come close to an actual depiction of this distant Kuiper Belt object? This is your chance to help us get excited about what exploration means, knowingly setting our course for something yet undiscovered! THIS IS WHY SPACE and SCIENCE are the greatest adventure stories ever known! So, what do you think New Horizons will encounter out there? Drawings, paintings, 3D printed models, clay, Playdoh or paper mâché models … the medium and the ART are up to you!

Opportunity: 2019 NASA Langley Student Art Contest
Deadline: December 31, 2018

Description: When it comes to exploration, the only limit is your imagination. Explore the furthest reaches of the unknown via artwork in NASA’s Langley Research Center’s annual art contest. This year’s theme, “Explore,” encourages you to illustrate your vision of the future in aeronautics, exploration and Earth science.


Opportunity: Lucy Student Pipeline Accelerator And Competency Enabler (L’SPACE) Virtual Academy
Deadline: January 12, 2019

Description: NASA’s Lucy Mission to Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids is currently accepting applications for its new student collaboration program – the Lucy Student Pipeline Accelerator and Competency Enabler (L’SPACE)Virtual Academy. This interactive, team-based, 12-week program is designed to engage a diverse population of college/university science and engineering students in rigorous, project-based STEM workforce development. The NASA L’SPACE Virtual Academy will give participants the opportunity to learn NASA mission procedures and protocols from mission professionals. Students will learn, practice, and hone collaboration and communication skills as they work on team projects with science and engineering students from across the country on geographically distributed teams (just like NASA missions do!). Students who successfully complete their assignments and demonstrate proficiency in specific skills/tasks will earn a certificate with endorsements to show applied workforce competency on internship, scholarship, or job applications. Undergraduate science and engineering students enrolled in an accredited U.S. institution that have an interest in space exploration and desire to gain workforce development skills and learn about NASA missions. Students at both two- and four-year institutions are encouraged to apply.

Opportunity: 2019 Alan Shepard Technology In Education Award
Deadline: January 25, 2019

Description: Educators who have demonstrated a commitment to inspiring students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) may apply. Given annually by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Space Foundation, the award recognizes contributors to technology in the education field, in both formal and informal environments. The award, named for Mercury and Apollo astronaut Alan Shepard, will be presented in April 2019 at the Space Foundation’s 35th Space Symposium, to be held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Opportunity: Mechanical Maker Challenge: Mechanical Eye
Deadline: January 30, 2019 11:59pm ET

Description: With its sulfuric acid clouds, temperatures over 450°C, and 92 times the surface pressure of Earth, Venus is one of the most hostile planetary environments in the solar system. While most electrical components do not survive long in these conditions, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, we have found an approach that just may allow us to rove the surface, an automaton (or clockwork mechanical robot) rover. While we have been working hard to turn this innovative concept into a reality under a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) funded study, we could use YOUR help to address some of our toughest mechanical design challenges! The Mechanical Maker Challenges are a series of challenges seeking to engage YOUR creativity to invent mechanical ways of performing traditionally electrical tasks. Currently, there are no cameras or imagers that work for more than a few minutes at Venus temperatures. However, photodiodes may soon be developed which could operate at Venus temperatures. The Challenge: Build a mechanical camera system which can take an image with no more than one photo diode and: Has a field of view of 2 meter x 2 meters at 2.5 meters from the camera (angular field of view about 60 degrees); Has a maximum pixel size of 10 mm x 10 mm (minimum resolution of 200 x 200 pixels); Converts the image into an electrical or rotational signal. This electrical or rotational signal must be transmitted at least 1 meter to another location, and then used to reconstruct the image; Completes the task within 5 hours. The first place winner will have the opportunity to demonstrate and give a short presentation on their device at JPL/Caltech. JPL/Caltech will cover all travel costs up to $1,000. First place and two runner-ups will receive a 3D printer Commemorative Mechanical Maker Challenge Coin.

Opportunity: 2019 Student Rocket Launch
Deadline: January 31, 2019

Description: United Launch Alliance (ULA) has issued its request for student teams from kindergarten through 12th grade to create “payloads” for the 2019 ULA and Ball Aerospace Student Rocket Launch. More than 20 K-12 student teams will have a chance to design, build and launch objects, experiments or instruments on the ULA-intern-built Future Heavy Super Sport rocket next summer. Teams can choose to compete for a chance to win up to $5,000 for their school or sponsoring nonprofit organization by guiding their payload closest to a designated ground-based target.

Opportunity: Mars Colony Prize
Deadline: March 31, 2019

Description: The Mars Society is holding a special contest called The Mars Colony Prize for designing the best plan for a Mars colony of 1000 people. There will be a prize of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second and $2500 for third. In addition, the best 20 papers will be published in a book – “Mars Colonies: Plans for Settling the Red Planet.” The contest is open to all people from every country. You can work alone or as part of a team. Each contestant will need to submit a report of no more than 20 pages presenting their plan by the deadline.